Aswan to Cairo
Day 8 & 9
Aswan 33c - Cairo 30c
So it's our last day on the boat. Last night's dinner was pretty good but l must say, not too many people were dressed up. Craig could've got away with not wearing a jacket as l reckon l only saw about 2 other people wearing one. Not happy however at least he's got a suit in the wardrobe now….may never come out again but hey….it's there.
We were supposed to be collected from the boat at midday but the plane was running late so it was after one when we disembarked. Once at the airport our guide checked us in, (business class again….l could really get used to this) gave us directions and we said our goodbyes. Finally we're on the plane and settled in just nicely and then we were waiting, waiting, waiting for around 40 minutes. We were surprised to see the captain and his offsider sitting across the aisle from us and we're thinking this plane ain't going anywhere anytime soon. Soon an announcement came over the PA suggesting a small technical fault and it wouldn't be long before take off, so we're playing the waiting game again and before too long we were asked to leave our hand luggage on but for us to hop off the plane and wait in the airport lounge which was fine by us as it was starting to get a bit hot on the plane. From the lounge we could see them working on something on the underside of the plane for a little while and then they stopped so we thought beauty…we're getting back on but not to be. Apparently it was unfixable so the airlines were sending another plane from Cairo (you have to imagine us - the whole plane load - were the only ones in the airport with the only other planes being there were fighter jets) so luckily there was another tour group that was on the boat with us and their guide who is with Abercrombie & Kent (our tour package) was catching the plane to Cairo too so she looked after us all. A bus was arranged to take us from the airport back into Aswan (40 minutes) to the Basmati Hotel where we were served a 3 course dinner then given a room to rest up until 10.30pm where we then hopped on the bus back to the airport for a 12.15 am departure. We arrived in Cairo at 1.30 am and was met by our A&K rep who apologized profusely even thought it wasn't his fault, got our luggage and drove us to the hotel. We were finally in bed by about 3.30am. I must say that if that had happened at Tullamarine, we'd have been lucky to have got a bench to sleep on let alone a 3 course meal! We weren't annoyed about it 'cause it's better to be safe than to have something go wrong when you're up in the air. At the hotel, which where we stayed when we first came to Cairo, we are in the upgraded suite (take a look, www.fourseasons.com Cairo at the First Residence - premier room) which they have very kindly let us stay in over the next 3 nights instead of the deluxe room …yaaay!
This morning after breakfast we wandered around the streets but stayed within a block of the hotel. There really isn't much to see….a patisserie, a couple of floating restaurants, the zoo across the road, squalor and lots of cars. The vast difference between the affluent (which is what we are in this country) and the poor is heartbreaking. In one of the photo's l've taken, in the foreground is a hut made of cardboard on a vacant block of rubble and in the background is our hotel. There is a photo of a crapped out old car with mags on the wheels, and a customized grill and spoiler, albeit handmade…the point being that it is a crappy old car but they have some pride. A huge number of cars have zip ties on their hubcaps so they don't get stolen!! On the way from the airport to the hotel at 2.30am, a shop selling hub caps and motorbike tyres was open….what the?
So a guy's just knocked on our door and brought in a tray of beautiful pastries and fruit and Craig & l are looking at each other thinking "we didn't order anything" which l told the guy and he said "no Madame, it's complimentary". Looks like we won't be having lunch today, we feel so full after a buffet breakfast, then coffee and an icecream while we roamed the streets and now this. I'm lovin this pampering.
We were supposed to go to Alexandria today but have postponed it until tomorrow seeing as we didn't get to bed until a few hours ago. Today is just a relaxation day…..hmmm a massage and a spa sounds good.
After a relaxing afternoon of doing nothing, and l mean NOTHING we went to one of the lounges for a light dinner which was really nice , even though the waiter dropped the fries on the floor…no biggie, we felt sorry for him and hoped he wouldn't get into trouble. When we paid the bill we ran into Christina and Dana (Jordana) who were in the lounge waiting for their connection to the airport. We chatted to them for about an hour or so which was really interesting and l hope that we'll be able to stay in touch with them after we've all gone home. We have each other's email address so in this day and age it shouldn't be too hard.
Tomorrow we have to be up at 6am to have breakfast and then meet our tour guide at 7.30am for our trip to Alexandria which takes about 3 hours.